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Private Septic SystemsPrivate Septic System

In Woodbury County, the Siouxland Distict Health Department holds the primary responsibility for regulation of private septic systems serving 4 homes or fewer or less than 15 people. Siouxland Distict Health oversees any individuals, homeowners, or contractors installing systems to ensure compliance with the minimum state standards developed by the DNR. Chapter 69: Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal

The DNR standards specify siting and construction requirements relative to the primary and secondary treatment portions of the sewage disposal systems as well as minimum depth to groundwater, minimum separation distances to potable water sources, and maximum percolation rates for soils. The DNR standards are primarily a prescriptive code giving design criteria for each alternative type of secondary treatment system permitted. The Siouxland District Health Department does have the authority to allow alternative or innovative performance based systems.


Septic Tank      Distribution Box       Drainfield



Any individual, homeowner or contractor seeking to install a private sewage system is required to obtain a permit to construct systems in Woodbury County. Currently, septic systems require both a pre-construction site inspection and post-construction inspection prior to back filing to verify compliance with code requirements. Click here to obtain an application for a Private Septic System for Woodbury County.


Time of Transfer Inspections

Iowa's time of transfer inspection law went into effect July 1, 2009. This law requires that every home or building served by a private septic system is required to conduct an INSPECTION prior to the sale or deed transer. The primary purpose of this program is to eliminate systems with no secondary treatment. It is important to understand that, septic systems DO NOT have to meet TODAY'S code to pass an inspection. If the septic system is working properly when inspected, it will not have to be upgraded to meet today's code. Older systems may not have adequate capacity to meet current code, but still have a leach field or other secondary treatment that is working. These systems are less hazardous than those that have no secondary treatment and carry raw sewage to a ditch or stream.

Time of Transfer FAQ



Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Environmental Protection Agency

Iowa Onsite Waste Water Association